Tolstoy postpones his ‘Anna Karenina’ masterpiece

The story “Anna Karenina” is one of the greatest works in Western literature. Vladimir Nabokov described him as “the greatest creator of nineteenth-century literature.” It is always on the top of the list of favorite books of famous authors. Bob Blaisdell, a professor of English at the City College of New York, loved it so much that he read the book about 20 times, and then learned Russian so he could when reading in the original language.

Meanwhile, Blaisdell, who reviews books for the Monitor, has written a fascinating and insightful book about Leo Tolstoy’s struggle to finish his masterpiece. “The Making of Anna Karenina: Tolstoy and the Birth of Literature’s Most Enigmatic Heroine” is filled with telling facts and details about Tolstoy’s life that form the direction of the book.

Tolstoy originally began “Anna Karenina” as a novella that he intended to knock off quickly. He finished a draft in a few weeks, but things were delayed because Tolstoy was a master procrastinator. Blaisdell estimates that in 30 of the 53 months he worked on the book, Tolstoy did not touch the script.

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